Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Being Upfront With Our Gardening

This week, we're concentrating on the front yard, starting with the lawn. Previously, back in December, we overseeded out lawn with a heat-resistant blend.

With the El Nino rains, the seeds have sprouted and I think it's finally time to mow.

The mower hasn't run since October but it starts the first try.

Lawn is done.  See the difference from the day we seeded to today?  Much greener.

There's still a big brown patch of thatched St. Augustine in the middle.  I'll hit that with my aerator tool and see if I can coax some more green grass to come up there.

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Giving the Green One More Try

About a month and a half ago, we overseeded the front lawn with a new heat-tolerant strain of grass seed.

Winter rains have been coming in regularly at a rate of about 1 storm every week and a half.  This provideds a great soaking and the first one came right after I seeded the lawy.

I've added my own water, via a ten minute sprinkler session, about once in between each storm.

This is how the new grass is looking now, I think it will be ready for its first mowing this weekend.

I haven't started my lawn mower since September, since the grass went completely dormant after I stopped watering due to our water rationing restrictions.  I just hope it will still start.

After that, I'll need to work on de-thatching those brown spots of St. Augustine grass.

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Monday, February 1, 2016

...And Prune 'til Done

Now that the backyard roses and grapevine are pruned for the coming season, it's time to move on to the front.

The front yard rose garden has really suffered the effects of our prolonged California drought. Not so much from lack of water, directly, but from the effects of it.

The deer, driven by an extreme lack of water and food up in the hills came down and used our front rose garden as a feeder.

My Julie Newmar rose? Completely gone, killed off by the hooved invaders.

The rocks hiding my grass barrier have been knocked about by the venison hordes.

Oh well, it's ok. They were desperate and I was looking for a place to put a new rose I want to plant.

In the meantime, loppers ahoy...it's time to prune.

There we go.  Still have to fix the rocks but that will come later.

Copyright 2016 - All Rights Reserved
Darryl Musick

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Wrath of the Grapes

Now that the backyard roses have been pruned, it's time to move on to the grapevine. The leaves have all fallen off so this makes it a good time to cut.

Basically, I just want to cut all the branches from the level of the bottom of the lower crossbar on the trellis down.

Loppers hit the thicker branches...

...while my clippers hit the old grape clusters that have long turned into raisins.

There, that's better.

A sweep of the patio and this weekend's gardening is done.

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Gloomy Days for Gardening

It's cool and gray on the patio today but it's dry. Good time to prune and clean for the upcoming season.

I'll start with the roses here in the backyard, then to the front next time. (my pruning tips are here)

The loppers cut into Angel Face...

...while Moonstone is done.

Next time, the grapevine and sweeping up this mess.

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Till We Plant Again...

We've finally got a decent winter here in Southern California so there isn't a whole lot to do in the garden except harvest some oranges and lemons occasionally. I do have some time off over the holidays so I'll try to find something out there to do.

Today, it's tilling the vegetable patch. As the years go by, this get easier because  the soil is also getting better each time.

Nothing startling about it, just take a sturdy gardening fork, dig up and turn the soil.  I'll work in some Kellogg's Amend...

...and also some GroMulch and it's done until I'm ready to transplant seedlings into it this spring.

Copyright 2016 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The First Chore of Spring

I know winter has barely started but I've got a lucky break with the weather and a chance to revitalize my brown, bald spotted, drought parched lawn.

In the last couple of years, I've overseeded with drought resistant grass seed. That worked fairly well and gave me a lush, green lawn for about 4 months but wilted under our 100+ degree summer heat fairly rapidly with our states water rationing scheme.

This year, I'll add to that a bag of heat resistant seed just to see what happens.

It rained pretty good on Friday so I had a damp lawn, with soft soil, to aerate on Saturday. I then overseeded with the spreader.

We're expecting two days of rain on Sunday so that will give me two days of watering in and I don't have to worry about running afoul of the water cops.

It should be a wet winter here, so I'm hoping that it'll take a minimum of spinkler use to get it germinated and established. Then we'll see just how 'heat-resistant' this grass really is.

Copyright 2015 - Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved